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Steering feels off

 
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Old 02 Apr 2012, 07:05 am
davea300's Avatar
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Default Steering feels 'off'

I've noticed that my steering doesn't feel as responsive as it should. The steering wheel has always had a 'bit' of play but I think it has worsened and should be tighter than it is.

I changed the control arms fairly recently and had the wheels re aligned. (alignment was way off before this). Alignment is still not perfect but pretty close. I checked the track rod ends last night for free play (both with wheel on and then off using a pry bar) and they seem solid. Other bushes at the front all look solid. The tyres do have uneven wear due to the previous control arm bushes being worn and drivin on by the previous owner for miles but apart from this I can't think of anything else I should be checking.

Any suggestions?
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Short ram intake, chrome grill, chrome belt line, drilled/slotted discs, few flames, engine dress up, chrome bits and pieces.
67,000 miles
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Old 02 Apr 2012, 07:16 am
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Default Re: Steering feels off

I don't know if we have the same kind of steering box, but here's a write up of how the Jeep guys get rid of that unresponsive feeling in the steering.

Steering Gearbox Adjustment Writeup - JeepForum.com
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Old 02 Apr 2012, 07:20 am
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Default Re: Steering feels off

Thanks, I'll have a look when I get home.
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2005 2.4 PT CRUISER (UK SPEC)
Short ram intake, chrome grill, chrome belt line, drilled/slotted discs, few flames, engine dress up, chrome bits and pieces.
67,000 miles

Last edited by davea300; 02 Apr 2012 at 08:54 am.
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Old 03 Apr 2012, 07:55 am
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Default Re: Steering feels off

Quote:
Originally Posted by CREWZIN View Post
I don't know if we have the same kind of steering box, but here's a write up of how the Jeep guys get rid of that unresponsive feeling in the steering.

Steering Gearbox Adjustment Writeup - JeepForum.com
I'm not sure if the pt's set up is different from the jeep write up. I've been reading through my Haynes manual and can't find anything relating to this adjustment. (Maybe I'm looking in the wrong place!)

The haynes is suggesting, worn bearing, worn tie rod ends or worn or loose steering gear. I don't think it's the latter as there are no unusual noises that you might expect if the steering gear was wearing out and there is no noise whilst driving that would suggest a bearing.

Looking at my front tyres again they are really quite bad. The outside edges are practically bald and one of the front tyres is always loosing pressure. I'm hoping 2 new tyres and maybe if that doesn't help 2 tie rod ends for good luck will sort it out.

In terms of wheel alignment (which I've had done already) does anyone know if the only adjustments that can be made at the front are the camber bolts and tie rod ends? Anything else involved?
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2005 2.4 PT CRUISER (UK SPEC)
Short ram intake, chrome grill, chrome belt line, drilled/slotted discs, few flames, engine dress up, chrome bits and pieces.
67,000 miles
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Old 07 Apr 2012, 01:51 am
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Default Re: Steering feels off

I've had another look at this. The front suspension is making a knocking noise when going over speed bumps etc. I've got new control arms and the struts seem ok. I think I may have worn suspension strut mounts which might be the cause of the steering problem since everything else I've mentioned feels tight.

Still need tyres though! I'll update this thread if I get time to change the mounts.
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2005 2.4 PT CRUISER (UK SPEC)
Short ram intake, chrome grill, chrome belt line, drilled/slotted discs, few flames, engine dress up, chrome bits and pieces.
67,000 miles
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Old 07 Apr 2012, 02:13 pm
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Default Re: Steering feels off

The PT uses rack and pinion-

I've never disassembled (fully) a power rack, the manual has a plastic bushing the presses rack to pinion.
There is constant spring pressure on it- So it's 'self' adjusting.

When US cars first used racks, the ujoint under dash would wear out- I haven't seen this for 20 years- But'd be EZ to check.

Strut mounts can fail- Usually it doesn't allow top spring mount to turn, and you have coil bind with some
nifty noises and odd pulling.

Also note, power steer systems use a small torsion bar to transmit
request for assistance- before steering shaft actually touches
the pinion- so they always have a little mush feel.

I assume you checked inner tie rod ends?
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Old 07 Apr 2012, 03:29 pm
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Default Re: Steering feels off

Yes I checked the inner rods as well. Everything looks solid. I'm edging towards the strut mounts as the knocking noise is fairly frequent now. I'll have look at them when I have some free time.
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Short ram intake, chrome grill, chrome belt line, drilled/slotted discs, few flames, engine dress up, chrome bits and pieces.
67,000 miles
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